Effective: October 29, 2014
Marimba is a messaging platform designed for children under age 13. Our goal is to help parents introduce children to social media in a controlled and safe environment, while building relationships and enjoying communication between relatives and friends. We want to make it easy for parents and fun for kids.
Like other instant messaging chat services, Marimba helps people connect to friends and communicate online. However, Marimba adds extra layers of protection to verify parent consent before making new connections and while using the service. The following sections describe the information we collect from parents and how children’s information is used and shared, with your consent.
Marimba requires an adult to register for new accounts and we’ve taken steps to prevent children from registering. Please notify us if you believe a child has registered without a parent’s permission.
During registration, we will request your name, email address, and a password to protect your account. Your email address will be your username, so we will send you an email to verify your email address. This also helps us ensure you receive important alerts and information about your account.
After you register, we will ask you for additional personal information to verify your identity using a national consumer database. This helps us confirm that you are an adult, since we require your consent before collecting child information in accordance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). It also helps us increase the overall safety of the platform.
We will ask for your name, street address, postal code, and birthdate as it appears on your government issued ID. In certain circumstances, we may also ask for the last four digits of your social security number as an added security measure. We will temporarily store and transmit that information to a third party data provider that is under obligation to keep your information confidential.
Based on information returned from our data provider, we will ask you to answer a series of security questions. This is a required step designed to prevent anyone else from registering using your name. If you do not answer the security questions correctly, we will suspend your account. In some cases, we may allow you to retry the electronic verification or complete a printed form.
After this process is completed, we will store your full name and postal code as it was verified. Later, when you send a chat invitation to another user, we will include your verified name with the invitation request.
Whether or not your verification was successful, we will delete your address, birthdate, security questions, and your answers to the security questions. We do not store social security information. Incomplete or abandoned verifications will be deleted after 10 days.
After completing the identity verification, you can add other family members to your account. For example, you may add a child and another parent. You will have full control over your family users and their data.
When adding a child user, we will ask for your child’s first and last name. We will only share this information with friends that you approve or are notified about through the invitation process described below.
We will also ask you to define a unique username for your child’s account. We recommend you consider anonymous letter patterns because usernames are used to receive invitations and may be visible to the public. Marimba does not allow inappropriate words as usernames and we reserve the right to change usernames. For example, we may not allow a username that is already a trademarked or a common industry term, as well as usernames that contain profanity or other inappropriate terms.
As a parent, you can set passwords for members of your family. Passwords are required for parent users and optional for children.
If you choose to assign a password, your child will be able to login using any device including devices owned by other people. If you prefer to restrict which devices are used, you can disable the password to prevent your child from logging in without your assistance. You can login on any device first as a parent to authorize the device and then use the “Switch User” feature to give access to your child. The switch user feature can also be used to allow family members to share a device.
Marimba allows adult users to recover a lost password. At your request, we will send an email with instructions on how to reset the password. Parents can change child passwords at any time using the application settings.
To best protect your account, we recommend using a different password for Marimba than other sites and services you use. We also recommend that you do not share your password and that you teach children to keep passwords secret. Marimba follows industry best practices and stores passwords as a computed value that cannot be reversed or used to access other sites.
When inviting other people to connect through Marimba, we will send a message to the recipient containing your contact information. Likewise, when you receive an invitation, we will show you the details about who sent the invitation. Our goal is to make sure you clearly understand who sent the invitation so you can make an informed decision to accept or ignore the request.
When sending an invitation, we will include your name, email address, postal code, and a summary of the method used to verify your identity. For child invitations, we will include the child’s name and username as well as your parent contact information.
Sending invitations. After a child sends an invitation, we will send you an email and a push notification requesting your review. If you choose to block an outbound invitation, no notification will be sent to the recipient.
Receiving invitations. When a child receives an invitation, we will send you an email and a push notification requesting your review. If you choose to block an inbound invitation, no response is sent to the sender.
Whether sending or receiving, we recommend you only approve invitations with trusted friends and relatives. You can review blocked invitations and change your response later using the settings in the application.
Marimba stores invitations indefinitely for the lifetime of your account. We record your response to invitations as an audit trail. If you delete a family user, we will also delete the history of invitations including your responses.
We may also offer settings and other features that allow you to simplify the invitation process. For example, we may offer an option that allows children to approve their own friend requests, as long as the setting is first enabled by a parent. We may also add sharing features that allow parents to invite other parents in their contact list or social networks. If you allow Marimba to read your contact list, we will not use your contact information for any other purpose.
After you accept an invitation, a friend connection will be created between the sender and recipient. In some cases, multiple connections will be made between family members if authorized by a parent. For example, a parent can send an invitation from all members of the family at one time.
Friend connections will appear in your friend list or in your child’s friend list allowing chat messages to be sent. At any time, you can block individual friend connections within the application settings. No message will be sent to the blocked friend.
As a parent, you can also control access to your children’s friends. When a parent blocks a child’s friend connection, it supersedes other settings and the connection will disappear from view with no notification to the child or the friend.
Friend lists are private and only visible to the user and the other parent users in your account.
Marimba includes the features you would expect from a modern messaging platform such as text messages, photo sharing, and voice messages. However, there are some important differences between Marimba and other products because Marimba is designed with child safety in mind.
Chat conversations are private and will not be shared outside the parties of the chat conversation, except through parent supervision features outlined below. We do not allow anonymous messages or public wall posts.
Marimba requires all users to adhere to basic rules of conduct. Be nice, respect other users, and report problems to your parents first. Marimba may suspend the account of any user that violates these rules or the terms of our service.
Curse words and other inappropriate content may be filtered. Filtered content is stored like other chat messages, but not delivered to the recipient. When a message containing inappropriate content is filtered, we display a red chat bubble and a warning sound to the sender. If you see content that should be filtered, please notify us and we will add additional content filters.
When chat messages are sent, we store the message and then notify the recipient using push notifications and other methods. The message and its attachments may appear on the recipient’s device even when locked or not using the Marimba application.
Marimba stores your chat history indefinitely so that it can be reviewed at any time by the parties of the chat conversation or by parents using our supervision features. Marimba does not allow ephemeral or auto-deleting messages. From time to time, we may delete or archive messages to reduce our storage costs.
As a parent, you may destroy all chat history for your children as outlined below in the section called Deleting Child Data.
Marimba includes many features to help parents supervise their children and remain aware of online activity.
As described above, parents have final approval over all invitations so you should be aware of the people chatting with your children. Parents can also block individual friends and control password access to child accounts.
Observing Chat Activity. Parents may also monitor chat activity in real-time using the observe feature. This will display messages as they are sent between friends. Parents can also scroll back in time to review older messages. No notification is given to children that a parent is monitoring their activity. Please note that the parents of your child’s friends may also monitor conversations between their children and your child.
Email Reporting. As a parent, you may enable email-reporting features that send a summary of chat activity including chat transcripts to your email address. This is a safety feature designed to encourage parents to review chat activity. Once delivered, there is no way for Marimba to recall transcripts sent, even after deleting a child account. This means that your child’s name and chat transcripts may be remain in another parent’s email even after deleting your account.
Disabled Accounts. Parents may disable their child’s Marimba account within the settings menu. When an account is disabled, the application will not allow messages to be sent or received. When other users send messages to a disabled account, the messages simply appear unanswered. We do not share disabled status.
Time of Day Limts. You can set time of day limits for your child’s account. For example, you can prevent usage after bedtime and before breakfast. Like disabled accounts, inbound messages are not delivered with no notice to the friend sending the message. We do not share time of day limit settings.
As a parent, you may delete another user from your account using the settings within the application. When deleted, all user information including name, profile information, invitations, friend connections, and chat history will be deleted. Please note, if you or another parent enabled email activity reports, there is no way to recall or delete emailed transcripts.
The Marimba application does not request or track geolocation information from your device or your child’s device.
In some cases, your photos may contain geolocation information. Although we take special steps to filter and exclude geolocation metadata from all photos sent, we cannot guarantee that no geolocation data is embedded in photos. Parents should also be cognizant that background scenery within photos and background noises within voice messages could be used to identify your child’s location.
When you login to Marimba for the first time (after account verification and parental consent has been processed), we will request that you allow push messages to be delivered. You can change this setting at any time within your device settings. In addition, if you logout of the Marimba application you will not receive push notifications.
Marimba does not share or sell email addresses. And, we are careful about the email we send to our users. In general, there are two types of email we will send:
Please do not block our firstname.lastname@example.org address since we will only send important account related notifications from that address. Examples of account notifications include:
Email alerts. We will send you security related alerts to keep you aware of changes to your account. For example, we will notify you when a family member changes their password.
Parent notifications. As outlined above, we will notify you by email when an invitation or other request is awaiting your review.
Email reports. If you enable email reporting, we will send you automated messages containing chat history from your family.
Messages from our email@example.com address are less important. For example, we may send information about new features or upcoming product announcements. You may opt-out of these messages by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the message, or simply contact us and we will remove your email from our distribution list.
We may display links to other Marimba features and applications, but we do not sell your information or display paid advertisements. Our goal is to keep Marimba ad-free for both children and parents.
Marimba may use your information for internal purposes such as troubleshooting our software and improving our services. We do not transmit or disclose information to our service providers unless it is necessary for them to perform a business or technology function in support of our service. A few examples are listed below.
We use third party service providers to verify your identity, as outlined in the Identity Verification section above.
We use third party analytics services to track usage and events in our system. For example, we track aggregate statistics for each stage of our registration process to identify areas that need improvement. When we transmit analytics data, we may include a persistent identifier such as an auto-incrementing integer that represents your account. We do not include usernames, email addresses, or other personal information that can be used to discover your identity.
We also use third party services to track and resolve bugs and other errors in our software. When an error occurs, our applications send a description of the error to a third party server. The error may include your device information, operating system, IP address, and other persistent identifiers but we do not include your name or other personal information.
To help protect your data, we use a combination of technical, physical, and administrative security measures that are designed to prevent unauthorized access to our systems. For example, our servers are protected with firewalls, encryption techniques, authentication procedures, intrusion detection, and other security technologies. Our servers are also protected in facilities with 24 hour monitored physical security and only essential staff members have access to our databases. However, please be aware that online systems are vulnerable to a range of risks. Please take steps to protect your account by keeping passwords secret and report any suspicious activity to us right away.
By creating a child account, you are granting your child permission to use the Marimba messaging service and all of its features. This combined with your registration will be considered verified parent consent as described under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
Under COPPA, you have the right to review, request the deletion of, or request that we stop collecting or using your child’s personal information at any time. To do so, please follow the various procedures outlined above.
Marimba is certified as COPPA compliant by the kidSAFE Seal Program. Information about the kidSAFE Seal Program can be found at www.kidsafeseal.com.
We hope this document is a helpful resource for you when evaluating our service and protecting your family’s private information. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or the address below.Marimba Technologies, LLC
Last updated October 28, 2014.
© 2014 Marimba Technologies, LLC